Sri Sathya Sai on Meditation Techniques – Part 2

A rare photo taken in a Bangalore photo studio on devotees' insistence

 

Three Stages of Meditation


Some persons use a Jyoti (lamp) as a basis for meditation. The lamp reveals the oneness that is the basis of the Unity of the Divine as well as the multiplicity that reflects the manifestations of the Divine. In this method, the experience of bliss does not come quickly. There are three stages in  this  type  of  meditation:  Uuha  (imagining  the  Form),  Bhava  (experiencing  the  Form)  and Sakshatkara (seeing It as a Reality). For instance, if one wishes to meditate upon Baba, he first tries to imagine with the dosed eyes the figure of Baba as seen by him earlier. This figure vanishes within a few moments.  In experiencing the figure, the process is longer and the impression also lasts longer. In this process, one starts envisaging the figure from head to foot and from the feet upwards. Gradually, by this process the picture of Baba gets firmly implanted and becomes an inner reality. While the imagining process gives only a momentary glimpse, the experiencing  method  leads  to  the  complete  identification  of  the  seeker  with  the  Divine  Form. Awareness of the Divine results in oneness with the Divine (Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati). When  we  are  experiencing  the  Divine  Form,  what  is  happening  to  our  mind?  The mind experiences every part of the Lord from head to foot and ultimately becomes one with the Form. It  is  the  process  of  identification  of  the  mind  with  the  Divine  form  that  constitutes  true meditation. Meditation is not merging the Form in the mind. It is merging the mind in the Form so that the mind as such does not exist.

Consistent Efforts are Necessary


While sitting for meditation in a group, one should not be in contact with anyone else. This is highly important. Meditation is like the process of electrifying a wire.  If a live wire comes in contact with something, it will produce a shock. During meditation, spiritual energy is generated. How is this energy lost? It is lost through finger nails and the hairs on one's body. This was the reason why the ancient Yogis (spiritually advanced persons) allowed their nails and hairs to grow freely. Spiritual energy has to be conserved by all possible means. The Rishis (saints) practiced silence to conserve the energy lost through speech.

Do not develop too close a relationship with one another.  Such  a close  relationship  results  in intimate  friendship  which  produces  mutual  obligations  and  expectations.  From these arise the sense of ego. When expectations are not fulfilled, resentment emerges. When they are realised, the ego gets inflated. Either way, the consequences of entertaining desires are undesirable. When resentment grows, the discriminating power is weakened. One loses control over his tongue and indulges in all kinds of abuse. Abuse leads to sinful conduct. The whole process is generated by excessive association with one another.


Young  people  tend  to  let  their  minds  wander  hither  and  thither.  They  should  concentrate  on their  studies  and  should  not  give  their  minds  a  free  rein.  They  should  reduce  their  worldly concerns  and  devote  some  time  to  meditation  every  morning  and  evening.  This will help to purify their minds and set them on the road to Divinity. Like the river losing itself in the ocean, the mind must merge in the Divine.  Then, there will be no mind at all.  That blissful state can be realised only through the path of Love. Love is God. Live in Love. Realisation of the power of Love is the true aim of meditation. That Love is utterly selfless and is dedicated to the Divine. Methods of meditation are many, but goal is one.

In  the  practice  of  meditation,  it  should  be  realised  that  all  cannot  follow  the  same  pattern  or method. It varies according to the evolution and circumstances of each individual and his or her capacity and earnestness. Some worship the Supreme as the Universal Mother. Some look upon the Almighty as Father. Some regard God as the Supreme Friend. Some devotees approach the Divine as the  Beloved  or  the Master. Jayadeva, Gauranga and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa belonged to the last mentioned category. They did not practise meditation. They felt the presence of God everywhere. Where could they go for meditation? Such was their experience. To the true Sadhaka  evidence  of  the  omnipresence  of  God  can  be  found  everywhere.  By merely closing one's eyes, one does not engage in meditation. One must feel one's unity with God in one's inner being.

Prayer  is  for  the  mind  what  food  is  for  the  body.  Just as wholesome food gives health and strength to the body, prayer purifies the mind and strengthens the spirit. If Bhajans (devotional songs)  are  done  in  an  ostentatious  manner,  the  ego  gets  bloated.  Young people must proceed from Tamas (the darkness of ignorance) to Tapas (spiritual penance). They must be steadfast in pursuing whatever they take up.  There  is  no  meaning  in  doing  meditation  for  two  days  and giving it up on the third day. Meditation must become an integral part of one's life. Along with it, all the knowledge and skills required for one's profession or vocation should be acquired.


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